A little bit of history of the island:
- It is the biggest of those 'other islands' of Australia and it is a state by itself. There are approximately half a million people living in this island with more than half reside in Hobart, the capital.
- The first sighting of this island was recorded by Abel Tasman in 1642. He sailed past the west coast and named the land Van Diemen's Land, after the governor of Batavia that time. In 1772, a French explorer Marion du Fresne set ashore at the east coast, followed by Tobias Furneaux a year after. Lieutenant John Bowen from British Royal Navy landed at east coast in 1803 and founded Hobart a year after.
- Hobart was established by the British to protect the island against the French who had the intention to claim the land. However, French Revolution actually cancelled the plan. The French chose to concentrate more on their domestic affair back then.
- Launceston was the second city to be established in this island in 1806. It was initially named Patersonia after the commandant of British garrison who set up their camp at that place, Lieutenant Colonel William Paterson. However, it was later changed to Launceston to honour New South Wales Governor by naming it to his birth place.
- Van Diemen's Land was utilised as a punishment land for convicts. Those people were tasked to build the area during their punishment time, such as town building, farm land opening, etc. After their period ended, most of them just resided in Tasmania and did not go back to the Britain.
- Van Diemen's Land was inhabited by the Aborigines before European settlement. They were basically hunters and gatherers, living nomadic from one place to another where they could find foods. The settlement of the Europeans drifted them inwards towards the woods. More farm lands were opened in short time and they lost their hunting grounds. Moreover, there were many cases of women abduction done by the Europeans (most of the convicts were male anyway). As a result, more native attacks occured to the Europeans.
- In 1826, Governor George Arthur issued a notice allowing the Europeans to kill the Aborigines when under attack. After that, many Europeans and many more Aborigines were killed. Guns vs spears, actually. It was said that in 1830, most of the Aborigines were gathered and brought to the peninsula and shoved to death. Those who remained were relocated to Flinders Island to literally rot to death.
- The line of succession of the Aborigines in Van Diemen's Land continued by more women abduction by the convicts. The generation after were mixed blood. Until today, some people in Tasmanian still considered themselves Aborigines but probably very little of them have the physical features of the Aborigines.
- In 1856, Van Diemen's Land was renamed Tasmania as an effort to rebrand the convict land to attract more British to emigrate. It was a success, many people from Great Britain moved to this land (which sounded much more fun than deadly Van Diemen's Land) and uprooted here.
- Currently, the top industries in Tasmania are mining, agriculture, forestry, tourism and manufacturing. Tasmania is the world player of exporting milk products, meats and poultries, berries and seafoods. Tasmania protects its environment of agriculture by controlling what the visitors bring into the island. At the point of entry, trained dogs would sniff on the visitors to detect presences of fruits or vegetables. The purpose behind that is to avoid anything harmful inside the fruits or vegetables to affect those grown in Tasmania.
Yes, I went to Tasmania! Launceston, to be exact. It is located at the north east of Tasmania, about 2-hour flight from Sydney. It is located in the region of Tamar Valley that was formed by glacial and volcanic forces over years. The city of Launceston is in the vicinity of North Esk River and South Est River, forming the Tamar River.
As the third oldest city in Australia, Launceston holds many colonial style structures. Walking along the city, I really enjoyed the sights offered to me. All the oldies are actually young by heart. I really admire how those buildings are well maintained despite the ages.
Launceston Airport is located 15km south of Launceston City. The airport is tiny but modern looking. It serves domestic flights to and from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane daily. There is shuttle bus service connecting the airport and the city and it cost AUD 15 one way or AUD 25 return, including designated hotel pick-up and drop-off.
I was staying at Sporties Hotel, located at southern part of Launceston City. It is a small establishment consists of about 10 rooms above a sport bar with the same name, Sporties Bar. I booked a single room and I got a tiny room with single bed, one pedestal, one plastic chair and a TV. There is no air-conditioner in the room but the hotel places a fan and a heater in the room. The room come with a private bathroom, but it is separated from the room. The room and bathroom are clean. I have no complaint although it is a bit cramp.
|Welcome to Launceston|
|Sporties Hotel, a tiny establishment where I chose to stay|
|I found this kind of building along the way|
|And more buildings like this|
|The most interesting dentist building in the whole world|
|Far far away above the hills there are the suburb|
|And I fell in love with the sky|
|To wake up to this view, it feels amazingly surreal|
I love this city. It is clean, it is tidy, it is pretty, it is quaint, it is serene. I love the architectures, I love the sky, I love the food. And the people, they are friendly and full of smile. Being in Launceston is like being in another world.
Love is in the air,